contador Saltar al contenido

Difference between law and ethics

In simple terms, the law it can be understood as the systematic set of universally accepted rules and regulations created by an appropriate authority such as government, which can be regional, national, international, etc. used to govern the action and behavior of the members and can be applied by imposing penalties.

Many times the term law juxtaposed with the term ethics, but there is a difference, since the ethics the principles that guide a person or company, created to decide what is good or bad, right or wrong, in a given situation. It regulates a person's behavior or conduct and helps an individual live a good life by applying moral rules and guidelines.

For a layman, these two terms are the same, but the fact that there is a difference between law and ethics. Read the article carefully to overcome your ambiguities.

Comparative chart

Basis for the Ethical Law comparison
Sense The law refers to a systematic body of rules that governs the whole of society and the actions of its individual members. Ethics is a branch of moral philosophy that guides people on basic human conduct.
What is it? Set of rules and regulations Set of guidelines
Ruled by Government Individual, legal and professional rules
Expression Expressed and published in writing. They are abstract
violation Violation of the law is not allowed and can result in punishment such as imprisonment or a fine or both. There is no punishment for violating ethics.
Objective The law created with the intention of maintaining social order and peace in society and providing protection for all citizens. Ethics made to help people decide what is right or wrong and how to act.
Binding The law has a legal link. Ethics are not binding in nature.

Definition of law

The law described as the set of rules and regulations created by the government to govern the whole of society. The universally accepted, recognized and applied law. created with the aim of maintaining social order, peace, justice in society and providing protection to the general public and safeguarding their interest. done after considering ethical principles and moral values.

The law made by the country's judicial system. Every person in the country forced to follow the law. It clearly defines what a person should or should not do. So in the case of violation of the law it can result in punishment or penalty or sometimes both.

Definition of ethics

By ethics, we mean that branch of moral philosophy that guides people about what is good or bad. a collection of concepts and fundamental principles of an ideal human character. Principles help us make decisions about what is right or wrong. It informs us about how to act in a particular situation and make a decision to make better choices for ourselves.

Ethics is the code of conduct agreed and adopted by the people. It sets a standard on how a person should live and interact with other people.

Types of ethics

Key differences between law and ethics

The main differences between law and ethics are indicated below:

  1. The law defined as the systematic body of rules that governs the whole of society and the actions of its individual members. Ethics indicates the science of standard human conduct.
  2. The law consists of a set of rules and regulations, while ethics includes guidelines and principles that inform people about how to live or how to behave in a particular situation.
  3. The law created by the government, which can be local, regional, national or international. On the other hand, ethics governed by an individual, legal or professional standard, namely work ethics, environmental ethics and so on.
  4. The law expressed in the constitution in writing. Contrary to ethics, it cannot be found in writing.
  5. Violation of the law may result in punishment or sanction, or both that are not in the event of a violation of ethics.
  6. The goal of the law to maintain social order and peace within the nation and the protection of all citizens. Unlike ethics than the code of conduct that helps a person decide what is right or wrong and how to act.
  7. The law creates a legal bond, but ethics don't have such a connection with people.


Law and ethics are different in a way that what a person should do and what a person should do. The former universally accepted while the latter the ideal human conduct, shared by most people. Although both the law and ethics have been aligned in such a way that they do not contradict each other. Both are side by side, as they provide a way of acting in a particular way. Each person equal in the eyes of the law and ethics, that is, no one superior or inferior. Furthermore, these two allow a person to think freely and choose.